CCleaner is a Windows cleaner designed to eliminate unneeded and duplicate files, update outdated software, and keep your system running fast. Everything you do on your PC has the potential to create junk files, compromise your registry, and slow the speed of your processor.
You can’t stop using the internet or limit your computer usage to prevent the accumulation of junk, repetitive files, and other debris. What you can do is download a PC cleaner like CCleaner to remove the unneeded garbage just as you might take a bag of trash from your home and drop it in a dumpster. Your home trash may go to a landfill far away, but CCleaner will permanently erase junk files without impacting your Windows environment.
This review of CCleaner, by Piriform, was created to help you determine if it is the right PC cleaner for your needs.
- Restore valuable space on your hard drive. CCleaner eliminates unnecessary content, repetitive files, and random junk that can slow things down over time. You’ll have more space to store files you do need, and Windows will likely run faster.
- Eliminate your online tracks. Imagine dropping files inside your PC each time your web browser loads a site, watch a video or interact with a friend on social media. Those files would collect over time, slowing down your system and leading to potential vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, most websites and apps now leave tracking files in your browser when a web page loads. CCleaner Professional increases your safety and increases speeds by finding and eliminating trackers.
- Built-in security. CCleaner comes with built-in security measures, so you don’t have to worry about introducing new threats while using this tool.
- Automatically update apps for improved stability. One of the easiest ways for a hacker or malicious software to gain access is to jump through a loophole in an already installed, but outdated, app. CCleaner Professional will scan for outdated apps before hackers find them, fixing them instantly so you are less vulnerable to attack.
- Ensure privacy for your online browsing history. If you don’t want the world to know what websites you visit or apps you use, it’s important to delete your browsing history. For your privacy, it’s important to be protected from browser history vulnerabilities.
CCleaner Free vs. Professional
You may have noticed that some of the features listed above are specifically for CCleaner Professional. That is a paid version of the software that will cost you less than $25 per year for one home PC. You also have the option of bundling up to three computers for less than $40 per year. There are often sales that will give you access to the Professional version for less than that.
While Piriform CCleaner Free gets you started with a thorough scan and cleaning, upgrading delivers the following:
- More thorough cleaning tools
- App updates
- Privatization of browsing history
- Internet tracker detection and removal
- Instant updates
- Priority status if customer service is needed
CCleaner Free is a great starting point if you want to try the software out and see if it makes a difference in how your PC runs. If you want more extensive cleaning that will cleanup and optimize the performance of Windows, consider investing in the Professional version.
The Professional version also provides ongoing protection from system clutter and slowdown in real time. CCleaner will work in the background to ensure you never run out of disk space and aren’t negatively impacted by outdated apps, internet trackers, temporary files, and random data that accumulates with use.
Why Use CCleaner?
There are other system and registry cleaner programs out there, but there are a few reasons you should consider CCleaner among the best:
- It’s easy and affordable. You don’t get roped into monthly automatic billing schemes when you go with CCleaner. Use the free utility or pay once a year for the Professional upgrade.
- There are no ads. Many free downloads come with ads that can slow your system down just as fast as the various files the tool is designed to remove. Save yourself a bit of trouble by going with popular tools that don’t use ads.
- CCleaner doesn’t track your computer. This is an important point because you never know what some programs are going to log as they delete data. CCleaner is a reputable product that won’t use tracking cookies for its own good.
- Built-in security. Even the free CCleaner download contains some basic settings to protect against security risks. You won’t introduce new vulnerabilities by using this software.
CCleaner can be useful if:
Windows is no longer functioning at peak performance.
The slower pace interferes with your work or personal enjoyment of your computer. You may not need to buy a new PC as often if you can fix or cleanup the issues that are slowing everything down.
You have a new installation of Windows 10 and want to stop the accumulation of data and repetitive files from the start.
Preventing the problem is always easier than cleaning up the mess later.
You’re concerned about your safety online and want to maximize your protection.
Maintaining a good virtual environment is just as important as maintaining a good home or work environment. While CCleaner won’t take the place of installing a good anti-virus program, it can help remove vulnerabilities.
You frequently enjoy gaming or streaming videos and music.
You need to maintain speed and response times to ensure Windows can keep up.
You don’t have the knowledge or desire to make manual changes to anything in the registry using the tools already available in Windows.
It’s true that Windows 10 now offers a cleaning feature that could do the same thing that tools like CCleaner will do. The catch is you need to know what each feature is and how to access and use the settings. You then need a lot of time to manually use the feature to ensure your registry is clean now and in the future. If you don’t have that expertise, CCleaner is an affordable do-it-now and do-it-right solution.
Will You Still Need Anti-Virus Protection?
CCleaner is designed to protect valuable real estate on your hard drive and won’t replace a good anti-virus program. While the tool does come with some protections, it isn’t designed to prevent hacking or infection with malware and viruses. Think of it more as backup to keep your system at optimal performance while your anti-virus program protects against the big threats.
How To Get Started
CCleaner is intuitive, fast, and easy to use. Once you download and startup the application, it will get to work on your behalf.
Just follow these simple steps to get it up and running quickly:
- Decide between CCleaner Free and CCleaner Professional. Read through the comparison above if you aren’t certain. You can always upgrade later if you go with the free version now.
- For the free version, click the green "Download" button on the website.
- When prompted, click "save file" to save the file.
- Find the file in your list of downloads and click to run the program.
- If you receive a prompt from Windows asking for permission to give the software access to install, click yes to grant that permission. That’s a standard prompt that Windows should show when a new program is run.
- Click the "install" button to start the automatic installer. Follow prompts on your screen to move forward as needed.
- Once installed, run the program to start cleaning your system.
If you decide to go with Piriform’s CCleaner Professional, you will enter your payment details before following the above steps. While going through the payment screens, you may have offers for bundles that include other premium programs.
You can easily bypass those offers if you only want to buy CCleaner. You won’t have those offers when downloading the free version, so don’t worry about aggressive upsells.
When CCleaner was first created, there was no way to clean your computer using Windows or any other applications already running on the typical computer. The app was greatly appreciated by computer users tired of fighting routine system slowdown, and it has now been downloaded more than two billion times.
While it’s true that Windows has grown enough to offer its own system-boosting features, most people don’t have the time or expertise to make use of such manual features. CCleaner is still a reputable, affordable option to keep your computer clean and fast. It has also undergone enhancements of its own over the years, so it will help keep your system safe as well as clean.